A mother has defended letting her baby eat sand, dirt, rocks and sticks.

A baby

A baby

Alice Bender, from Arizona in the US, showed off her unique parenting technique in a TikTok video that shows her son Fern chomping on items including shopping trolleys and large rocks.

Alice, who is raising Fern as a vegan, argues that her breast milk will ensure he survives.

She said: "I do not fear bacteria. In fact, I welcome it. I trust nature and my baby. It is not a coincidence babies have this instinct while they are breastfeeding.

"Breast milk is incredible. Breast milk is the original medicine. It is far superior to any man-made medicine.

"Breast milk is alive and constantly changing to meet our babies' current needs."

Alice adds that she has seen health benefits to Fern's strange diet.

She explained: "I've noticed Fern is incredibly healthy compared to other babies.

"He is the first chunky baby in our immediate family. People always compliment us on how healthy, calm, and alert he is when we're in public."